History Of Country Region
The two ideas of tradition and apostolic succession were joined together mainly for apologetic needs against those who defended a secret transmission of doctrine and, in the course of the 2nd c., led to the elaboration of the doctrine that the tradition was transmitted through succession in the ministry. The idea of continuity was essential for the early church: Ever since the Christians first wrote their history, they conceived it as the continuity of a movement of communication of the divine life which, begun in God, was propagated on earth, after Christ, through the apostles and the succession of bishops Y. Congar, Mysterium salutis, 7, Brescia 1972, p. 643 n. 12. Shenyang Subway Map In this subtle interweaving of ideas, the episcopal lists i.e., chronological lists of bishops of churches arose as historical proof of succession, which guaranteed a community’s orthodoxy of teaching, since it could go back through the uninterrupted succession of its bishops to the origins. We must not forget that in the 2nd c. there was a greater identification of a local church with its bishop, who was considered the expression of his community.
Hegesippus was the first to draw up the list of the bishops of Rome Euseb., HE IV, 22,3, followed by Irenaeus, who provides reasons for it: Hence the tradition of the apostles, manifested in the whole world, can be seen in every church by all those who wish to see the truth, and we can list the bishops established by the apostles in the churches and their successors up to ourselves . But since it would take too long in this work to list the successions of all the churches, we will take the greatest and oldest church, known to everyone, the church founded and established at Rome by the two glorious apostles Peter and Paul Adv. haer. III, 3,1-2; a little further on he offers the list of the Roman bishops. Eusebius of Caesarea also draws up the list of the bishops of the principal churches: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Rome. Other old lists are found in works of a chronological nature.
The episcopal succession in each church, going back directly or indirectly to the apostles, provided a guarantee of apostolicity of origin and so also of doctrine, allowed the combating of the many heresies that arose from time to time. Tertullian formulates the argument thus: It may be that there are heresies which dare to go back to the apostolic age, Shenyang Subway Map so as to appear to be taught by the apostles, to have arisen under them. We can answer them: let them produce the birth certificates of their churches; let them show the catalogs of their bishops, showing their succession from the beginning, to show us that he who was the first bishop received investiture and was preceded by one of the apostles or at least by an apostolic man, with whom the apostles had had constant relations. Shenyang Subway Map This is the way the apostolic churches exhibit their own titles: thus the church of Smyrna shows that Polycarp was placed on that see by John; thus that of Rome shows us that Clement was ordained by Peter: and thus the other churches exhibit the bishops who, established in the episcopate by the apostles, are for them the vehicles of the apostolic seed De praescr. 32,1-2.
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